by Michael Booth (@TampaTwoNFL) and Matthew Holding (@Matt_Holding1 , contributor to AllSaintsConsidered)
With Week 3 now in the books it got us thinking, if each NFL team as of now was summarised in a song, a) Do we have too much free time on our hands b) What song would they be? Yep lets do this:
I can see clearly now by Johnny Nash
After their much maligned defence holding them back for the past few seasons, the Packers now feel resurgent. The offence still has room to grow, but the upgrades made in the off season give Green Bay the perfect recipe for success. The old adage is “defence wins championships”, well I’d like to amend that to “Defence, and Aaron Rodgers wins championships”
Once in a lifetime by Talking Heads
Detroit must be asking themselves right now “well, how did I get here?”. Fortunately for the Lions, after blowing their lead against the Cardinals in Week 1, they were then handed two teams with injury woes in the form of the Chargers and Eagles (and the Chargers woeful special teams track record). There hasn’t been a lot to shout about in the Matt Patricia era in Detroit, but Matthew Stafford looks more comfortable than last season. With games to come against the Chiefs, Packers and Vikings, it may well be that Detroit find themselves at 2-3-1. They currently sit at middle of the pack in most statistical categories, and this may well be a realistic aim for this season.
Cooking up something good by Mac Demarco
If the Vikings could get out of their own way then perhaps they would be 3-0 and Green Bay would be 2-1 by now. Dalvin Cook has finally delivered on the promise he has shown since he was drafted, and Minnesota will be hoping he stays injury free for the foreseeable future. He currently averages 6.6yds per attempt and leads the league at his position.
Under pressure by Queen
Mitch Trubisky has some serious questions to answer if he is to be seen as the long-term solution for this franchise. Super Bowl windows do not last long (unless you are the Patriots……) and the Bears need to capitalise on having an elite defence and promising head coach. The Bears can boast the same quality of wide receivers as some mid-upper tier teams in the league, but the play at the quarterback position needs to see a drastic improvement for them to compete with the Vikings and Packers within the division.
The saints are coming by The Skids (or U2/Green day whichever you prefer)
Blah blah blah, some rubbish about beating the Seahawks – I get to write the NFC bit and I’m not wasting any more of my time on a game I’ve already forgotten. Song choice because its iconic, not because I’m predicting some sort of surge up the power rankings.
To the left by Beyonce
After fluffing a seemingly unmissable kick to win the game over the Giants, Tampa will be sat at 1-2 perhaps feeling a little sorry for themselves. Personally, I think they are lucky to have a solitary win, largely in part due to their defence and adequate running game against a Panthers team with an unfit Cam Newton. At some point this organisation needs to move on from a QB who error is prone and (despite the odd big game when I’m against Mike Evans on fantasy) has shown little progress for the past few seasons despite being given time and good faith by two head coaches. A breakup is long overdue. One positive is the start to the season shown by Shaquil Barrett, who already has 8 sacks on the year.
Ramble on by Led Zeppelin
The Falcons lead the league. Unfortunately, that statistic in having the most QB interceptions. Thankfully their next few games are against teams with questionable defences:
Titans, Texans, Rams, Saints, Seahawks.
If you are wondering why the song choice its simple. This is the 283rd song on one of my playlists. (If you are a Falcons fan reading this, Matt made me do it).
Highway to the danger zone by Kenny Loggins
Despite all their issues this season, the Panthers currently rank second in passing yards allowed per game. Donte Jackson stood out to me in their win over the Cardinals, and looks much improved from last season, with two interceptions so far and several key tackles. There are also signs that Kyle Allen might be just the co-pilot Ron Rivera needs to get him through a tough season. However, the long-term concerns around the team and their upcoming fixtures mean this season could be over fast for the Panthers. The next few weeks present the best opportunities to put wins on the board for this team and failing to capitalise before a tough run in will almost certainly put them at risk of finishing rock bottom of the division.
Aint no stopping us now by McFadden & Whitehead
The Cowboys have taken care of business against some bad bad teams. Now it’s time to see if they can continue their rise and put themselves in the forefront of people’s minds for the conference title. Jason Garrett has been shown more faith than many feel is reasonable (but heck I’m not Jerry Jones so who cares). Dak Prescott continues to answer the questions posed about him week in week out, let’s see if their name is on the Lombardi at the end of the season.
Everybody hurts by R.E.M
Seriously, does anyone else want a week off? This team was tipped by many to be a Super Bowl contender. If by some miracle they can hang with the other teams in the wildcard and get people back, then don’t write them off just yet – it just seems unlikely that they will be in a position to challenge the Cowboys in their current form for the division.
We found love by Rihanna ft. Calvin Harris
They found love in a hopeless place. Daniel Jones was impressive in his first start, and the city of New York will be rocking if he brings home another valuable win for this organisation in what you would expect to be a must win game for both the Redskins and the Giants. This is followed up by games against the Vikings and Patriots, whose defences will pose a stern test for the young QB. The loss of Barkley in Sunday’s game can’t go unmentioned, but it was impressive to see the Giants adapt to overcome the Bucs, even if they needed a missed field goal to bring home the W.
I will remember you by Sarah Mclachlan
The Redskins have shown sparks of life this season. The had the Eagles on the ropes for the best part of their opener and scored 21 points against the Cowboys – oh and they won that game against the Falcons in pre-season. There doesn’t appear to be much of a silver lining in sight for Washington soon, but I can send some YouTube links of the three super bowl wins if anyone is interested.
Magical Mystery Tour by The Beatles
Despite being 3-0, there is something odd about this Rams team. They have dispatched three teams with seemingly high ceiling, but only the Saints have a winning record so far, and that was the fixture that saw Drew Brees leave the field. They win games by moving the ball in an effective but fairly dry manner. Coupled with this, the mystery of Todd Gurley rolls on. Despite being seeming isolated in the current scheming, Gurley’s stats suggest his decline may be over-hyped. His current average yards per carry is 4.6, compared to his peak of 4.9 last season. No doubt they will be in the picture for the division and the conference come the playoffs, but which version of the LA Rams will we see in January? The high-scoring offense that was matched only by KC and NOLA, or the Rams that put up 3 points in the Super Bowl?
Fool’s Gold by Stone Roses
Ranking second in total defensive yards and fourth in total offence, many have been surprised by a 3-0 start for the 49ers. With two relatively easy fixtures to start the season, they showed grit and determination to see off the Steelers in Week 3. With an impressive debut, can they sustain their output in their upcoming games against the Browns and Rams after their hiatus this week? Can their frontman Garoppolo deliver a killer follow up that the Stone Roses never managed after the success of their 1989 masterpiece? Regardless of my ridiculous speculations, there are signs of real progress this season for what is an iconic franchise (like the Stone Roses, I am of course only talking about in the 80s and 90s).
Simply the best. Tina Turner.
Watching them this season has been like a trip to Thunderdome, sometimes you can’t take your eyes of them, other times you just want to look away. With a tough run of fixtures to start the season (barring the “gimme” against the Cardinals this weekend) Seattle could well be in a barren nuclear wilderness come thanksgiving.
Shelter from the storm by Bob Dylan.
Kyler Murray is currently the second most sacked QB in the entire league behind Mariota, and with Clowney and co. in town this weekend he may even be top of that list by the end of the week. This song also features on Jerry Maguire and I had to find a way to shoehorn in a “show me the money” reference somehow. Those who have watched Murray don’t doubt the talent he has shown, but it was never likely to be a smooth start to life in the NFL for the young QB. Despite being capped at only 73 yards at the weekend against the Panthers, Larry Fitzgerald is still impressive in his late-career, with two TDs already this season at the age of 36 – I don’t want to get into a whole debate here about late era- Dylan, but I do love some of his later works.
Run by Snow Patrol
We all know about Lamar Jackson’s comments after week 1 about “pretty good for a Running Back” and with Mark Ingram pounding the ground (bench in my fantasy team this week, angry face emoji) the Ravens have been running all over teams in 2019. “Light Up, Light Up” being key lyrics to the song is what Hollywood Brown has been doing that this season too – however is was the Kansas City Chiefs who lit up in week 3 with 503 offensive yards over this normally stellar Ravens Defence.
Underdog by Kasabian
With the Steelers flagging from Big Ben’s injury, and the loss of stars Brown & Bell in the offseason, and the Ravens having a tough schedule to contend with, there is a very real possibility that they will still end up in the race for the division come the end of the regular season. Offensive line issues are a big factor in the success of this team going forward, and although the offseason hype may have been a little premature for this team, they are still a team that many would fear on Wildcard weekend.
Any generic song by the 1975
The 1970-80 Era was the last time the Steelers were properly relevant. Winning 4 Superbowl’s in those years. These days they are a team without a direction, a purpose and without a Big Ben who’s done for the year. With just 239 yards on offence for the Steelers, Mason Rudolph is looking like another generic QB as the generic boy band “the 1975” are. Of those yards 76 and 39 were touchdown passes meaning only 124 other yards on the game. Performances like this will only see them fall further into irrelevance and mediocrity.
Don’t Cha’ by the Pussycat Dolls
Speaking of irrelevance, here’s the Bengals. Actually not a bad performance from the “Who Dey’s” (not as good as Who Dat!, we all know that) sticking around with the Bills until late in the 4th quarter. Turnovers really hurt the Bengals in week 3 with Andy Dalton throwing two picks and the Bills D forcing 2 fumbles as well. Joe Mixon said he needs to step up more for this team, he was improved this week 95 yards from scrimmage but if Dalton continues to turn the ball over and a lack of run game established then these Bengals will continue to look like tabby cats. The Bengals were probably wishing their Defence was hot like the Bills.
Rockstar by Nickleback
The team that people like to watch but don’t like to admit it to their friends, and they have a true Rockstar in QB DeShaun Watson. The Texans no.4 has been lighting up the NFL this season and did so again in Week 3 throwing for 351, 3 TDs with a QBR of 135.8 #Numbers. As the Texans have a guy like Watson at the helm it means they give teams the fear of read option and a QB run. This plays into both their run and pass game with opposing defences struggling to read the play, if play A fails but the pocket remains go for B or C. Keeping that pocket intact is a huge issue still for the Houston Texans.
Return of the Mack by Mark Morrison
Okay maybe a bit too easy this one with part of the title being literally in RB Marlon Mack’s name but frankly I don’t care. It works. Mack had 88 yards from scrimmage last week against the Falcons and new but not new but new as a starting QB for the Colts Jacoby Brissett is using him plenty. Brissett is looking good too! With Andrew Luck retiring so young you though the Colts may struggle this year but if JB can put up 28/37 for 310 and 2TDs and no picks most weeks, he will win more often than not.
Rookie of the Year by Funeral for a Friend
Don’t take this as me saying that Gardner-Minshew II (can’t forget the II) will be the rookie of the year but if he continues producing like he has so far, the rookie out of Washington State will certainly be in and around the debate. 204 yards for 2 TDs won’t set the world alight but his completion % is a healthy 74% after the 3 games he’s competed in. Stepping in for newly acquired Nick Foles was never going to be an easy task but the facial haired rookie has looked the part so far after no one had even heard of him when he came on in game 1.
Who are you by the Who
When I was sniffing around the NFLUK forums once I saw a thread simply titled “Who are the Tennessee Titans?” and honestly. I don’t know. Another franchise with little to no direction they always seem to finish 7-9 or 8-8 but never really bother anyone. I could probably name 3 or 4 of their players from the top of my head and that’s enough for my memory bank thanks. They lost to the aforementioned Jaguars in week 3 and did nothing of note on any side of the ball. Adam Humphries looks a good pick up, about it, next!
Shout by The Beatles
The Bills favourite war cry song. “HEY, heyyyyy……Let’s go Buffalo” replacing the famous lyrics. This was the only choice here. The Bills are 3-0, the fans have a reason to shout and get loud. Not their most sparkling performance in week 3 but they get things won and done. Especially on D. They are mean and they force turnovers (4 against the Bengals). Patriots in town on Sunday so I’m expecting a good battle. Random stat, this is Buffalo’s 4th consecutive week in the New York state area following 2 road games at MetLife they are at home twice in a row. Maybe they can’t lose in the North East of the country. We shall see.
We are the Champions by Queen
The current Superbowl champions don’t look like stopping anytime soon. Wiping opponents aside week after week with little to no fuss. Tom Brady does what he does, and others just come for the ride. It’s their defence however which has been the most impressive, not giving up a Touchdown all season. 3 points against the Steelers and shutouts against both the Dolphins and the Jets (The Jets 14 points were scored on a fumble recovery and Pick-6) for this stellar unit. Sure, the schedule has fallen nicely for them but will they ever not win this division again!? Getting a bit boring now, hopefully the Bills of Buffalo will have something to say about that.
The Theme tune to “Thomas the TANK engine” by Children’s Show People
The Dolphins are going full on Tank mode, trading here, trading there, losing every.single.week. Week three wasn’t actually as bad for them, only down 10-6 at the half in Dallas they eventually lost 31-6. They didn’t score a Touchdown again. They gave up 4. They are just terrible. If they don’t go 0-16 I will be shocked. The 2020 dolphins will look completely different with probably a whole 53-man roster of rookies the way they are going, might as well not show up and give teams the W.
Wake me up when September ends by Green day
“Summer has come and past” it certainly has and it was a summer filled with hope and excitement in the meadowlands. That quickly took a downturn with 3 losses on the spin and losing starting Quarterback Sam Darnold to “mono”. Quickly replaced by Trevor Siemian and then by Luke Falk this offence ain’t gonna do it. Although they were against the Pats star Defence in week 3 they only got 105 offence yards, pitiful. Their D stepping up against Jason Stidham for a score would have helped soothe some wounds but not a lot. Thankfully for the gang green they have a bye week with Sam Darnold due back in October. September ending cannot come soon enough.
Rollin’ by Limp Bizkit
The Chiefs keep on rolling, following up from 2018 with an unbeaten start to 2019. The offensive juggernaut is battering all that’s in their way and already look to have the AFC West title sewn up. Pat Mahomes in certainly an MVP candidate. He has 1,195 yards through the air, 10 TDs and no picks. Currently the 2nd highest rated QB in the league he is a phenomenon. Leading the way again against the Ravens the Chiefs had 503 total offence against a usually strong defensive unit. Mahomes also likes to spray the ball around to different receivers with 8 different players catching a ball on Sunday. Reminds me of a young Drew Brees. They will be in the AFC Championship game, no doubt.
There is nothing left to lose (album) by The Foo Fighters
Welp, that early season hope from Oakland has all but faded. However, in this dumpster fire of division, all is not lost. Yet. If the Raiders can pick up wins against divisional rivals, they could make the playoffs. Realistically they just got beat by a better team in week 3. Josh Jacobs couldn’t get fully at the Vikings run defence (44 yards on 10 carries) which stalled the offence a bit but Dalvin Cook really hurt their own run defence – dudes been on fire. Colts and Bears next up for these Raiders so have to go for them to have that outside chance of the playoffs intact.
If there’s any justice in the World by Lemar
If there was justice, the Chargers would be 2-1 or 3-0 as Phillip Rivers deserves it, maybe not specifically for this game but for his career. Keenan Allen is a boss too and cost me my fantasy match-up with 183 yards receiving. The Bolts don’t really have a home field advantage as their excuse for an NFL stadium is usually full of road fans, why did they move from San Diego? I liked them there. More powder blue jerseys and less powder puff defence please.
Sugar we’re going down by Fall out Boy
That’s where the Broncos are going, down, especially if Joe Flacco remains under centre for too much longer. Okay, he wasn’t all bad but hardly inspiring with 213 yards, a pick and no scores. The Broncos need to protect the ball a lot better to have any chance at winning a game. Nice to see RB duo of Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay rack up some yards though. Lindsay back to 2018 form with 130 yards from scrimmage. A home game with the Jaguars on Sunday looks huge. If they win that it could provide some well needed momentum to head to the divisional rival chargers in week 5.